The Heather Gold Show: Outside In Rundown

The Heather Gold Show: Outside In

Friday January 12th, 2007

Bradley Horowitz‘s name kept popping up. Some programmers at Songbird raved about him, “He bought all the cool shit at Yahoo.” By that they meant: flickr, upcoming and other sundry “Web 2.0” companies that make great stuff.

As we discussed in the show, he’s like an A+R guy that the indie musicians trust. He has real spirit, which is why I thought he’d make a great guest. The passion he wanted to discuss was hacking and the sublime that comes from subverting systems for their own good. Bradley create Yahoo Hack Day. He’s an insider that got other insider’s to listen to outsiders: bringing hackers to camp on Yahoo’s lawn and bring Beck to play for them all. Super cool outside coming in. I thought so, until Anil let me know the other day about Beck’s Scientology, a “religion” that’s so insider, you have to pay to belong.

Harmon Leon is an outsider who stays an outsider by geing a fake insider. He read a piece about infiltrating a Benny Hinn faith healing hoping for release from his “bird flu” and being hurled to the ground by staffers as Benny rebuked the demons in him.

<a href=””>Rhodessa Jones</a> helps women who are outsiders (on the “inside,” aka prison) transform themselves through theatre. She defied cliche liberal ideas by asserting the need for prison, “some people belong in prison, okay?”

Bradley and Rhodessa were clear on one central truth. The way to connect and cross boundaries from outside in, is to really listen to people with regard. Harmon’s technique for gaining the trust of groups from the Christian right to the young Republicans? “I just parrot back to them their own beliefs.” People are happy to look f=no further.

Highlights and Links

  • Harmon Leon – first infiltrated on a dare to himself that he had to get and lose a job within 3 hours, all the while working in a bad fake foreign accent. It took many efforts to get the fast food place to fire him. The clincher was shoving a vanilla shake and fries in his mouth, and spewing it on the floor by customers. “Ich been sick.”
  • Rhodessa’s story about working in a peep show in early 1970’s San Francisco and recognizing ptron’s Richard Pryor and jazz great Mose Allison. She was playing Mose’s music and when he approached her she recognized him, and he took off.
  • Rhodessa Jones’ Medea Project